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After Congress Adjourns Without Approving Zika Funding, Concerns Rise Over U.S. Public Health Preparedness, Possible New Transmission Routes Of Virus

The Atlantic: A Threat Bigger Than Zika
“…[W]hen members of Congress embarked on a seven-week recess last week, they failed to resolve the question of whether to approve money to combat Zika. … [E]ven if the United States avoids a serious outbreak this summer, the fight over Zika funding reveals a much larger problem with the way Congress thinks about the role of the United States in public health emergencies. Even if the United States didn’t have a moral obligation to use its substantial resources and global standing to fight diseases like Zika, several public health officials [said], protecting U.S. citizens requires looking beyond the country’s borders…” (LaFrance, 7/18).

CQ HealthBeat: Monday: Zika Funding Decision Waits for a New Fiscal Year
“…The start of the new fiscal year on Oct. 1 offers a new deadline for action on added Zika virus response funding, along with continuing spending for all federal programs and agencies. The administration’s Zika funding request, prepared in February, likely envisioned action well before October. A second Senate attempt last week to clear a supplemental funding agreement (HR 2577) failed to muster either Democratic support or Republican acceptance of new negotiations. A third vote on the matter is planned for when the Senate returns in September…” (7/18).

New York Times: Zika Virus Case in Utah Baffles Health Officials
“In another puzzling twist to the Zika epidemic, the Utah Department of Health on Monday reported the diagnosis of a new case of the virus that did not appear to have been contracted through either of the known sources of transmission: a mosquito bite or sexual contact…” (Tavernise, 7/18).

Wall Street Journal: Son of Utah Man With Zika-Related Death Contracted the Virus
“The latest medical surprise surrounding the Zika virus surfaced Monday in Salt Lake City, Utah, where the son of a man who died after becoming infected with Zika contracted the virus himself. Health authorities acknowledged they have no idea how the son got infected. The case, which health officials called ‘unique,’ is the first in the U.S. in which the source of infection isn’t known. The son, who was ill but recovered quickly, had no exposure that authorities have been able to tie to known modes of transmission…” (McKay, 7/18).

Washington Times: CDC: In a first, woman passed Zika to man through sex
“A New York City woman infected a man with Zika through sex, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention said Friday, adding a new layer to what scientists know about the latest public health scare. … The New York episode is the first documented case of sexual transmission from a woman to a male sexual partner. … About nine in 10 Americans say they’ve heard or read about the virus, although a majority of them are not worried that they or someone in their families will become infected, according to a poll released [June 30] by the nonpartisan Kaiser Family Foundation…” (Howell, 7/15).

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Filling the need for trusted information on national health issues, the Kaiser Family Foundation is a nonprofit organization based in Menlo Park, California.